2008 Wrap-Up, Looking Ahead to 2009

For those of you following Tattoosday, I am going to take a different approach to the blog in 2009.

The concept will be the same, but I am going to enhance it a little bit. All posts will be dated and time-stamped around the time that they happened. So, if I don't get around to posting the ink for a few days, it will be back-dated for chronological effect.

I also want to blog above and beyond the successes (i.e. the people who said "No") and expand to other tattoo-related topics, when they arise.

For example, if I stop in Borders and look at a tattoo book, I'd like to link it here. I am hoping to turn all the "no thank yous" into items of interest.

I also have a couple of new features in the works that I hope to unveil in the new year that will continue to make Tattoosday the interesting experience that I believe it is.

In an effort to start out with a clean slate, I am cleaning out my drafts and posting all the remaining drafts I have in house, including several pieces by Jessica, who I met back in June.

Once again I want to thank everyone who regularly reads Tattoosday, and those who visit once in a while. 2008 was a banner year, registering over 100,000 hits this year alone. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2009 will bring. Happy New Year!

More of Jessica's Ink: Blue Stars and Random Art

Here are some more tattoos from Jessica, who inked much of this work herself. She has over 50 tattoos, and has work featured before here.

She has inked some blue stars....

And that is Italy as well, with the red, white and green colors of the country's flag. The blue stars accompany a tomato slice and what I assume to be a Madagascar hissing cockroach...

and a koala bear.....

Thanks to Jessica for sharing all her ink here at Tattoosday.

More of Jessica: A Death's-head Hawk Moth and Knee Flames

Here's more of Jessica's ink. "Flames on my kneecap and the death's head moth from The Silence of the Lambs....."

That is the Death's-head Hawkmoth:

which came to cultural significance when featured on the movie poster for the Jodie Foster movie mentioned above.

Thanks again to Jessica for sharing her ink with us here on Tattoosday!

More of Jessica: Moogoogaipan and Red Foo

Here are the last two pieces I have on Jessica (I'm sure in '09 she'll send me more...). They are her foo dogs, which she has dubbed Moogoogaipan (named after the Americanized Chinese food dish moo goo gai pan) and Red Foo.

Jessica has shared a lot of ink here. She actually has some other foo dogs in an arm sleeve (shown here) which are well worth seeing again. Thanks again Jessica!

Michael's Mariachis Celebrate Life with a Burst of Musical Color

In reconnecting with old college friends through Facebook, my old friend Michael who I haven't seen in almost twenty years sent me an amazing tattoo he has on his right arm.

He sent me before and after shots so we can see the transformation from outline to spectacularly colorful body art. First, the before shots.....

The detail and the line work is exemplary and breath-taking. As someone with a guitar inked on my arm, I can appreciate the intricacies of a finely-drawn instrument. The detail on the mariachi's jacket cuff is incredible.

And now, for some color:

Michael explains the basic premise of this tattoo:
In a sense, this piece is a "memorial" tattoo, although I hate to call it that. Since I grew up in the Southwest, Day of the Dead was a regular thing, so I've always been drawn to that type of imagery, plus I like the meaning -- honoring the dead, and reminding us to live life to the fullest. I picked the mariachis partly because I am so into music, and partly because of the celebratory aspect of mariachis.
Like many intricate tattoos with multiple elements, every part has significance. The tulips, for example, that are growing at the mariachi's feet, "are an actual heirloom varietal that I have in the garden" [and] are for my wife -- tulips are her favorite flower".

And the angel at the top of the piece (and the top of the post)?

Michael informs us that "the angel is for my mother, who is no longer with us. The angel holds a purple iris (my mother's favorite flower), and looks down over the whole scene."

This amazing piece was inked by Susan Behney-Doyle who works out of Jinx Proof Tattoo in Washington, D.C. Mexican folk art is one of her specialties (see a gallery of her work here) and Michael says he "gave her a few reference pieces to look at, but she basically drew it after a consultation". He continues, "we made just a couple tweaks after I saw the drawing, but it's a one-of-a-kind custom piece".

The whole tattoo was crafted back in 2006 over a five-month, seven-session period. Michael notes that one of those sessions was devoted solely to shading the guitar. A closer look at the instrument reveals an incredible complexity of brown variations that truly makes the guitar jump off the skin.

Tattoos I Know: Paul, Part 3, or, The Great Cover-Up of 2008

Earlier this year, I featured the first tattoo belonging to Paul, a co-worker and friend. Later on, he showed me his sleeve (here).

I am just getting around to show you his new work in progress, a cover-up of a tattoo on his right bicep, located above the first one of his that I featured here.

This isn't completed, but it does display a stage of the work that is interesting. Documenting it now will make it more interesting when the piece is completed.

That's an om symbol at the top of the piece. The basic design is a traditional Japanese half-sleeve. The work is done by Horisei at Chelsea Tattoo Company. Horisei inked my friend Rob's traditional Japanese tattoos (here).

Thanks again to Paul for sharing his work in progress here at Tattoosday. We're looking forward to seeing the final work in 2009!

Chicken Hoot

Another Suzi Q owl

A Knight to Remember: Veronica Shares Her Ink

I received a pleasant surprise yesterday, just before leaving work, when Brooke (see her tattoos here and here) introduced me to her friend Veronica, who was visiting her in the office.

Veronica enjoyed the posts on Brooke's ink, and was willing to share her tattoo with us here on Tattoosday:

I correctly identified the tattoo, on the left side of her back shoulder, as the chess piece known as the Knight.

Although it is a horse, Veronica noted, most people who see it don't realize at first that it is a chess piece.

So why a chess knight?

Several years ago, Veronica went on a date with a guy who had a similar tattoo. Not only had he been a chess player, but his nickname in the military had been "Crazy Horse". He had designed the tattoo himself and Veronica was drawn to it. She knew she wanted one just like it, but they both agreed, as their relationship progressed, that it would only be appropriate if they were married.

Well, we all know where this is heading. When the time was right, Veronica's boyfriend didn't pop the question, he popped the suggestion, "Let's go get that tattoo". Which she did, customizing his original design by making it a little smaller, and adding a feminine curl to the front of the Knight's mane. They went to a shop on Broadway in Santa Maria, California. There are three shops currently on Broadway, so I can't give proper credit to the shop or artist at this time.

The formal proposal came shortly after the engagement was "inked".

Veronica married the man with the matching tattoo but, as life would have it, they split up amicably after three years.

Her ex-husband-to-be told her that he wouldn't be offended if she decided to cover the chess piece up, but the thought never crossed Veronica's mind. She wasn't worried about future girlfriends (or wives) getting the same tattoo. She recognizes it as a unique symbol of a past chapter in her life of which she has little regret.

Oftentimes, people are remorseful about their ink, especially when the piece is tied to a relationship that no longer exists. It is always nice to see a tattoo that holds great meaning, even while transcending a bond that has broken.

So the chess piece remains, and we here at Tattoosday extend our thanks to Veronica for sharing this part of her personal history with us.

Cappy Christmas!

Joe Capobianco isn't just one of the most well-known pinup tattoo artists, but my personal favourite. So for Christmas, I thought I'd show a few of his early works, to get that festive spirit into you! Happy Christmas!

Cappy Christmas!

Joe Capobianco isn't just one of the most well-known pinup tattoo artists, but my personal favourite. So for Christmas, I thought I'd show a few of his early works, to get that festive spirit into you! Happy Christmas!

Stin City

These wonderful ladies were done by Stina Nyman. Wow!

Stin City

These wonderful ladies were done by Stina Nyman. Wow!

Hoot To Trot

Random pic found on Inked Nation. Wicked chestpiece.

And Happy Christmas from Owl Tattoos!

Hoot-chie Coochie Man

The above tattoo is on a lady called Michelle, and was brought to my attention by Bill Cohen, who runs the Tattoosday blog, and describes it thus: "The concept behind Tattoosday is the majority of ink being spotted randomly in the streets of New York." There's some really interesting stuff on there, I recommend you check it out. The direct link to the owl post is here.

Tattoos I Know: Mary-Lee's Paternal Inscription

I'm particularly proud of this particular tattoo story because it hatched out of Tattoosday itself, in a roundabout way.

The signature above is a freshly-inked autograph of a man who has been dead over forty years. It graces the back of Mary-Lee, who I have known and worked with for a decade. The signature is that of her father.

Earlier this year, Mary-Lee, who has regarded the Tattoosday hobby of mine with a curious amusement, was moved by the story of Kate's tattoos (here), especially the one of her twin sister's signature. Kate's sister had died in a car crash the previous year, and the name of her sister, in her own handwriting, is a touching and beautiful memorial.

Upon hearing this tale, and seeing this tattoo, Mary-Lee began thinking of a similar tribute, made all the more remarkable by the way the stars lined up to make this happen.

Her father died at the age of 53, when Mary-Lee was only eleven years old. She was a typical Daddy's Girl, and has never forgotten the sudden nature of his passing, and the absence of closure, as she was not allowed to go to his funeral.

So, as the anniversary of his death approached on December 4, and she realized that this anniversary was special in that she is the same age as he was that he died, she decided it was only fitting to get her first tattoo, honoring her dad, at the same age as he was on the day he died.

The final question was, would she be able to get it inked after 6pm on the anniversary? She doesn't know the exact time he left this world, only that it was after 6pm.

She started looking for a reputable shop in the area, and stumbled upon Red Rocket Tattoo, located between work and her home in Manhattan. She booked an appointment after 6pm on December 4 with Betty Rose well in advance. As if the kismet of the dates lining up wasn't enough, Red Rocket is where our friend and co-worker Paul (see his ink here) had his work done, and Betty Rose was the girlfriend of Chris (see his ink here) with whom I served a brief stint of jury duty over the summer.

When December 4 rolled around, everything went smoothly. Betty Rose had lifted the signature from the old ssocial security card that Mary-Lee still had in her possession, enlarged it, and placed the stencil in the perfect spot on the first attempt.

She is very pleased with how the nuances of the signature were picked up in the process, and loves how the inked reproduction is tilted "upwards, toward heaven".

And, whether it is the physical fineness of the lines and minimal surface area the tattoo affects, or whether there is a paternal heavenly influence with its hand in the process, Mary-Lee has marveled that she has experienced none of the typical symptoms that come with a healing tattoo.

This lack of self-consciousness about the ink, combined with the minimal pain and aftercare required, has validated for her the transcendent healing nature of her tattoo.

And it has helped her obtain another level of closure that she never received when she lost her father at the age of eleven.

Thanks to Mary-lee for sharing her tattoo and its story here with us on Tattoosday!

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